City Orientation Walk I, Hamburg (Self Guided)

Hamburg is the second-largest city of Germany with a population of 1.8 million people, located where the river Elbe meets with the rivers Alster and Bille. With more than 120 000 enterprises such as factories, radio and television broadcasters and publishers it became the major media and industrial center in northern Germany. The city is also a major tourist destination both for domestic and overseas visitors. Here is the list of the top attractions in Hamburg
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City Orientation Walk I Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk I
Guide Location: Germany » Hamburg (See other walking tours in Hamburg)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Author: Caroline
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Hamburger Rathaus

1) Hamburger Rathaus (must see)

The Hamburger Rathaus is Hamburg’s city hall – its name literally translates as ‘council house of Hamburg’. Designed in the neo-Renaissance style, it was built between 1886 and 1897, following the destruction of the previous city hall in the fire of 1842. It is located in the Altstadt quarter of the city, close to the main rail station and the Binnenalster lakes. The hall was created by Martin Haller, a local architect who also designed the city’s Leiszhalle and Hamburg America Line’s headquarters. Haller would go on to become a member of the Hamburg Parliament, taking a seat in the Rathaus chambers which he designed.

The Rathaus has maintained its intended functions as an administrative centre, and is still the office of Hamburg’s mayor. It also still houses meetings of Hamburg’s parliament and senate. It has been at the centre of many historical moments in the city in the 115 years since its grand opening. Hamburg was surrendered to the British Army by the Nazis at a Rathaus meeting. Haile Selassie and Queen Elizabeth II have both visited the building on state occasions. The hall’s courtyard, complete with fountain, was used to host celebrations by the local football team, Hamburger SV, one of Germany’s most successful clubs.
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Alstster Arkaden

2) Alstster Arkaden (must see)

A historic city surrounded by lakes and intersected with hundreds of waterways, Hamburg is often referred to as the ‘Venice of Germany’. This reputation was fostered by the extensive rebuilding of the city centre after the Great Fire of 1842. The architect Alexis de Chateauneuf was tasked with rebuilding many of the damaged areas of Hamburg’s city centre, and took the elegant arcades of the Italian city as his inspiration. One of the finest examples of his work is the Alsterarkaden, an arched arcade on the banks of the Kleine Alsten. It can be found between the railway station and the larger Binnenalster lake to the North.

One of Hamburg’s most famous sights, the Alsterarkaden was completed in 1846, one of the first new developments to open following the fire, which destroyed many of Hamburg’s most famous buildings. The arcade houses boutiques, cafés and restaurants, and is a popular spot for local residents to take lunch by the water. It is equally attractive at night, when the building and the waterside path are lit by wrought iron lamps. Part of the arcade was damaged by fire in the 1980s, but was restored to its original grandeur soon afterwards. The Alsterarkaden backs onto Neue Wall, one of Hamburg’s most prestigious shopping streets.
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Neuer Wall

3) Neuer Wall

The Neuer Wall is a commercial street in Hamburg's old town. The road extends over 1200 meters from the Jungfernstieg to the Stadthausbrücke. The Neuer Wall is Hamburg's most expensive shopping street and with its wide range of shops, it provides competition for the Munich Residence or the Maximilianstrasse. In the vicinity of the Jungfernstieg is a jewelry store, as well as shoe stores and several leading international fashion houses. Close to Stadthausbrücke, there are larger shops, for example furniture stores, due to lower rents. In the middle, there are several clothing stores, a porcelain and a lamp shop.
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Hanseatic Quarter

4) Hanseatic Quarter

A quarter of Hamburg is dedicated to shops, entertainment and recreation. The special design of the whole street with the windows and the brick walls, draws the attention of any visitor. It is considered one of the three main shopping streets of Hamburg.
5
Alster Lake Alley

5) Alster Lake Alley (must see)

A wonderful view of the Alster lake and surroundings will offer you a relaxing experience. You may wish to take a walk on this pedestrian walkway with your children, enjoying the natural beauty around the river, while crossing public parks all around. You can take a boat ride on the lake; it is a lot of fun.
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Lombardsbruecke

6) Lombardsbruecke

The Lombard Bridge is a road and rail bridge over the river Alster in Hamburg. It was named after the Lombard pawn shop situated here in 1651. The original wooden bridge was replaced in 1865. The 69-meter long bridge spans the river Alster in three arches between Inner and Outer Alster.
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Hamburger Kunsthalle

7) Hamburger Kunsthalle (must see)

Hamburger Kunsthalle is the city’s largest art gallery, and one of the most significant art museums in all of Germany. It is located on Glockengießerwall, a main road that runs alongside the main train station in Hamburg. The gallery’s permanent collection spans seven centuries, from medieval ecclesiastical art to contemporary pieces by Richter, Klee and Neo Rauch. Specialities include 17th century Dutch paintings by the likes of Rembrandt and Ruisdael, German Romantic art, and works from the modernist era.

The museum is housed within three separate buildings. The original brick built museum dates from 1869, and was joined by the Neoclassical limestone clad extension in 1999. The white cube containing the Galerie der Gegenwart opened in 1997. The new building also hosts a popular bistro, with views across the city to the Alster lakes. Each building contains a café, and there are two gift shops on site.

Admission is 12 Euros for adults and 5 Euros for children. A family ticket is available for 16 Euros. Entry allows admission to all permanent collections, as well as the museum’s many varied temporary exhibitions. There is special entry for the over 65s on Friday, when tickets are 10 Euros, and free coffee and cakes are provided.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm; Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm
8
Spitalerstraße

8) Spitalerstraße (must see)

Spitalerstraße is a shopping street in the Altstadt quarter, Hamburg. The street is one of the central shopping districts of the city, the most frequented street by pedestrians in Hamburg - ahead nearby Mönckebergstraße - and the fifth most frequented street in Germany. Spitalerstraße was turned into a pedestrian zone in 1968, after motorized traffic had increased and Hamburg was re-planned as a "car-friendly city", in which cars and pedestrians were separated wherever possible.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Mönckebergstraße

9) Mönckebergstraße

The Mönckebergstraße (locally also called Mö) is one of the main shopping streets in Hamburg, Germany. Mönckebergstraße is located in Hamburg-Altstadt, running some 800 m in east-west-direction between the Hauptbahnhof at Steintorwall and the Rathaus at Rathausmarkt. It is named after Johann Georg Mönckeberg, mayor of Hamburg in the 1890s and 1900s. On the south side, Mönckebergstraße passes the churches of St. Petri and St. Jacobi. Halfway in between, at Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz, Mönckebergstraße intersects with Spitalerstraße, another important shopping street. Notable attractions of this prominent four-way-fork-junction are the Mönckebergbrunnen (Mönckeberg-Fountain) and a former central building of Hamburg public libraries. Many major retailers such as H&M, Kaufhof, Karstadt, Karstadt Sport, Peek & Cloppenburg, Saturn or Zara have a presence on Mönckebergstraße. Many of the department stores have been converted from former kontor-houses. Some houses were demolished for the construction of Europa Passage in 2003. The shopping mall, which leads to the Jungfernstieg boulevard, opened in 2006.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
St. Peter's Church

10) St. Peter's Church (must see)

Hauptkirche St. Petri, known in English as St. Peter’s Church, was built by order of Pope Leo the Tenth in the early 11th century. Whereas most of Hamburg’s other churches were originally built outside the city walls, St. Peter’s has always stood within the ancient walled settlement, known in those days as Hammaburg. It was first documented as a market church in 1195. The present Gothic church building was completed in 1418. The 132m tall tower, almost Scandinavian in appearance, was accompanied by an even higher second tower until 1807, when it was torn down, having been used as a stable by Napoleonic soldiers.

The church was badly damaged by the Great Fire of Hamburg in 1842. It was restored and rebuilt in the original Gothic style, with many of the church’s original features rescued from the fire. These include the lion head door handles found in the west portal, which date from 1342. They are believed to be the oldest surviving artwork in the city of Hamburg. Still a functioning Catholic church, St. Petri has suffered from a dramatic change in its surroundings – once a busy residential area, the church parish now comprises shops and offices. The congregation have embraced this change, allowing stores to advertise on the church building to pay for upkeep of the building.
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Church of St. Nicholas

11) Church of St. Nicholas (must see)

The Church of St. Nicholas is a ruined church located in the centre of Hamburg. Previously one of the five Lutheran Hauptkirchen, or main churches, found within the city’s medieval centre, it was briefly the tallest building in the world. The towering Gothic Revival style spire, which stands 482 feet tall, is all that remains of the church; the main building has been demolished. The ruins are still an important tourist landmark, hosting events and displays, as well as an information centre in the old crypt.

A church has stood in this spot since the beginnings of Hamburg in the 12th century. A pillar of ecclesiastical life in the city for centuries, the previous church building was destroyed in the Great Fire of May 1842. The replacement was devised by British architect Gilbert Scott, and built between 1846 and 1863. The spire was completed in 1874, and made the church the world’s tallest building for two years, before being overtaken by Rouen Cathedral in Northern France. The ruined spire is still Hamburg’s second tallest structure, after the TV Tower.

The great height of the church spire proved to be its downfall, as it became an easy target for Allied Forces planes during World War 2. The nave of the church was destroyed, and the congregation moved to a new facility in an outlying suburban area. Restoration works have included the installation of an elevator within the spire, which takes visitors up to a 75 metre high platform, allowing great views over the nearby Speicherstadt district.
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Miniature Wonderland

12) Miniature Wonderland (must see)

Miniature Wonderland claims to be the world’s largest model railway attraction. It is housed in an otherwise unassuming brick warehouse building on Am Sandtorkai, close to the Dockland Museum. The vital statistics of this project, the work of local twins Frederik and Gerrit Braun, are staggering. The model covers over 12,000 square feet of floor space. The railway lines themselves comprise 12,000 metres of track, carrying 890 trains with over 11,000 carriages. The model landscape is dotted with 300,000 lights, 215,000 trees and 200,000 miniature residents – and it is still growing.

First opened in 2000 by the Braun twins, the model railway is expected to be completed in 2020. By that time, it will cover double the area that it does now. The current exhibition is divided into seven sections – Harz, Knuffingen (a fictitious city), the Alps, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia and Switzerland. The latest addition is Knuffingen Airport, which sees model planes arriving and departing regularly. The creators have already begun work on scale models of France and Italy.

The Minature Wonderland is open from 9.30am to 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It opens later on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Saturdays, the attraction opens at 8.30am and closes at 9.00pm, whilst on Sundays, it opens half an hour later, and closes at 8pm. Entry is 12 Euros, with half price admission for under 16s.
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Historic Warehouse District

13) Historic Warehouse District (must see)

Adjacent to the harbor, you find Hamburg’s historical warehouse district, the largest warehouse complex in the world. Narrow cobble stone streets and small waterways are lined by 100-year-old warehouses, which store cocoa, silk, and oriental carpets. These towering buildings are fine examples of Wilhelminian brick Gothic architecture. Light projections in the evening create a magical atmosphere on buildings, bridges and canals.
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Spicy's Museum

14) Spicy's Museum (must see)

As one of Europe’s largest ports, Hamburg has been the gateway for many exotic products throughout its history. Still a busy dockland area, the city’s Speicherstadt district imports foodstuffs from across the world, including herbs and spices. Hamburg is one of the largest importers of spices in Europe, and home to the world’s only dedicated spice museum. Spicy’s, located on Am Sandtorkai next to the Miniature Wonderland attraction, is an interactive guide to the spices that have passed through Hamburg’s docks in the last five centuries.

Situated in a storehouse that once held these exotic items in vast quantities, Spicy’s has more than 900 exhibits. You can learn about the life and cultivation of plants from which the spices are made, as well as the spice trade which grew between the 16th and 19th centuries. Many of the items are genuine recent imports from far flung countries, whilst others are presented in small bowls to be touched, tasted and smelled. Admission costs 3.50 Euros, including free spice tasting. If you have kids who aren’t keen on tasting the exhibits, don’t worry – the museum will provide free gummy bears instead.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm.
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The HafenCity

15) The HafenCity (must see)

Hamburg’s HafenCity quarter is a redeveloped area of docklands south of the city centre. Formerly a part of the Free Port of Hamburg, it was removed from the port’s jurisdiction to allow the area to be redeveloped. The district, in the northern half of the Speicherstadt dockland area, now contains a growing number of new homes, office buildings and tourist attractions. Covering an area of over 2 square kilometres, it is the largest rebuilding project in Europe. When finished in twenty years’ time, it will house 12,000 people, and host a work force of 40,000. A new U-Bahn line, the U4, opens this year, providing better transport links with Hamburg city centre.

Despite being a relatively new quarter, the HafenCity has plenty to attract the casual tourist. HafenCity has a range of quirky museum attractions, including a model railway and spice museum on Am Sandtorkai. The jewel of the new area is set to be the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, the flagship concert hall for Hamburg, which is set to open in 2013. Away from the tourist attractions, the city is aiming to develop HafenCity as a sustainable place to live and work. All planning applications are judged on their ecological impact, as well as the quality and originality of the design. The result is a contemporary quarter with a mixture of redeveloped warehouses and eco-friendly, stylish office blocks.

Walking Tours in Hamburg, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Hamburg

Create Your Own Walk in Hamburg

Creating your own self-guided walk in Hamburg is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 1

Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 1

Hamburg is well known for the combination of its history, culture and the aspects of modern life in its architecture. The old buildings, harmonized with the recent, extravagant urban development, make for an unforgettable tour of the city. Take it to enjoy the vibrant and diverse beauty of Hamburg's buildings!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
Kids Entertainment Hamburg Walking Tour

Kids Entertainment Hamburg Walking Tour

Hamburg offers attractions for people of any age, including children. Planetarium, museums, parks and specialized cafes are great places to spend time with your children. Take this tour to enjoy quality time with your little ones.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Cultural Tour of Hamburg

Cultural Tour of Hamburg

The city of Hamburg is well known as a culturally rich citadel for different arts. Galleries, musical facilities and theatres exposing different styles and artists are open for everybody to enjoy the beauty of art. Take this tour to experience the cultural Hamburg.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Famous Brewpubs in Hamburg

Famous Brewpubs in Hamburg

Hamburg, like any other city in Germany, is famous for its beer. Hamburg has a few brand names of beer that are considered among the best in the country. The brewpubs are the ideal place where you can taste genuine German beer and just have fun while in Hamburg. This self-guided tour will help you to find the best brewpubs in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Museum Walking Tour in Hamburg

Museum Walking Tour in Hamburg

Hamburg offers you a surprising variety of museums with different types of collections, from a number of classic art museums to an unusual Spicy Museum and to the extravagant Russian Submarine Museum. This tour offers you the opportunity to visit the most impressive museums in Hamburg.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 2

Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 2

Magnificent, modern, breathtaking architectural projects in Hamburg, as well as classical and historical buildings from last century. Take this tour to discover the most attractive architectural constructions of Hamburg.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Hamburg for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Hamburg has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Hamburg, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.